Have you ever wondered what food qualifies as “picnic date food”? It can be tough to come up with a menu for a romantic picnic! These picnic ideas for couples will inspire you to pack up and enjoy a romantic picnic for two!

Overhead photograph of picnic spread on a white blanket on grassTips for planning a romantic picnic:

I like to think of planning a picnic for two just like I would any meal, minus the main dish. From there I modify the appetizer, side dishes and desserts to be simplified and more snack-like.

Even though this is a meal, treat it more like you would a cocktail hour or holiday party, create a menu that is meant for snacking. 

It’s also important to avoid the sack-lunch mentality and instead choose dishes that are more hands-on and collaborative. 

For the most romantic picnic, choose recipes that you don’t make very often or feature higher-end ingredients. This can be hard to imagine, so here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling. 

Overhead photograph of picnic spread on a white blanket on grassSimple Recipe Swaps to Create a Romantic Picnic 

  • Swap ham sandwiches for build-your-own crostini featuring prosciutto, extra sharp white cheddar, honey and orange zest. 
  • Swap apples for fresh cherries, figs or grapes. 
  • Swap chips for a bowl of popcorn or a baguette. 
  • Swap water and soda for wine or sparkling wine. 
  • Swap cookies for a fancy bar of dark chocolate.
  • Swap veggies and dip for a fresh herby salad. 
  • Swap sandwiches for a charcuterie board featuring cured meats, a variety of cheese, olives and honey. (Check out my guide for creating the perfect cheese board!)

Overhead photograph of picnic spread on a white blanket on grassRomantic Picnic Ideas: Places

  • Local park (a site to find local parks)
  • Local lake/beach
  • Backyard
  • Living room
  • Drive-in theater
  • Star Gazing
  • Kayaking or canoeing
  • Frisbee golf

Overhead photograph of picnic spread on a white blanket on grassWhat to bring on a picnic date:

  1. Find a fun, old-school picnic basket 
  2. Use an insulated cooler for things that need to stay cold (use frozen water bottles—they acts as freezer packs and you get water out of the deal).
  3. Bring any flatware you need, try to avoid plastic (cheese knife, serving spoons, etc) 
  4. Pack cloth napkins 
  5. Bring stemless wine glasses or champagne flutes 
  6. Pack a large blanket 
  7. Bug spray and sun screen! 
  8. Wet wipes and/or hand sanitizer
  9. Flowers (very optional but very romantic!)

Overhead photograph of picnic spread on a white blanket on grass

Romantic Picnic Menu Ideas

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you plan a romantic picnic!

To pin this guide and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar. Happy picnicing!

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. Thank you for the excellent ideas and the wonderful recipes. I created a perfect romantic picnic for my wife on our one-year anniversary and much of the credit goes to your ideas here.